75

In a way you are doing word games. International law has developed as customary law. There is no nature-given or God-given definition of sovereignty, it is merely a verbal shortcut to describe a whole raft of concepts which were historically related. France officially accepts that Andorra is not part of France. Spain officially accepts that Andorra is not ...


68

The question is not "When can you enforce your laws on your land?", the question is "When can you prevent the United Kingdom from enforcing their laws on your land?". That's the case if any of these is true: You have an army strong enough to keep the UK government forces out of your country (being an armed insurgency would likely not yet give you ...


53

The British East India Company would seem to come close. From Wikipedia: By 1803, at the height of its rule in India, the British East India company had a private army of about 260,000—twice the size of the British Army, with Indian revenues of £13,464,561 (equivalent to £225.3 million in 2018) and expenses of £14,017,473 (equivalent to £234.5 million in ...


48

The City of Tokyo, and the President of the Japanese Olympic Committee have signed the Host City Contract, section 33 (c) of which states: The final dates for the holding of the Games, including the number of days of competition and the scheduling of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, shall be decided by the IOC in consultation with the OCOG (the ...


42

Sovereignty means the right to self-rule. Independence means the right to sole rule. A state can have sovereignty within its borders but still be part of a larger union: e.g., the states of the USA, or the nations of the EU. The quote means that Belarus declared self-rule first, and then formally left the USSR a year later.


31

EU member states retain full sovereignty -- there's not even such a thing as partial sovereignty. Sovereign states can voluntarily delegate some or even all of their powers to either smaller areas (devolution and local government) or larger areas (international treaties and unions). As long as those powers can be reclaimed by the state, then that doesn't ...


29

I once heard Harold Wilson argue that if you organised the World Cup, in doing so you "lost a little bit of sovereignty" (this was in late 1966). He was not opposed to doing so but just pointing out that - yes membership of the EU would involve loss of sovereignty, but so did our organising the World Cup, which in any case England won". For ...


28

No list is complete without the Dutch Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (a.k.a. Dutch East India Company). Some excerpts from the Wikipedia page: The Company, for nearly 200 years of its existence (1602–1800), had effectively transformed itself from a corporate entity into a state or an empire in its own right ... The company was historically an ...


27

The Sovereign Military Order of Malta is almost definitely the best example that's still in existence. It was founded in Jerusalem in 1048 by Italian merchants as a church and a hospital. Not quite a modern company, but definitely not a country either. At several points in their history, they managed to hold sovereignty over land (first Cyprus, then Rhodes, ...


26

There are many such separatist movements around the world. Whether they win or not is a question of power. Can they win the recognition of the international community? Or do powerful outside interests have reason to prefer the existing national state? Here is a list of ten examples. Regarding the specific case of Somliland, the author states: The major ...


26

The misconception in your question is meaning of "buy a plot of land". In the strictest sense, you can't. The Crown retains the ultimate ownership (Allodial Title) of all land in England and Wales. When we talk about buying land that's really a shorthand for buying a Freehold, which is a more abstract entity - it gives you a set of rights over a parcel of ...


25

Sovereignty Sovereignty is a slippery term that has evolved over the centuries. The modern meaning traces back to the end of the Thirty Years War and the Peace of Westphalia known as Westphalian sovereignty, although even this is disputed. The supreme, absolute, and uncontrollable power by which an independent state is governed and from which all specific ...


24

Here's a partial answer: First, the government of Somalia doesn't recognize Somaliland. Any recognition of Somaliland would come over the objections of Somalia. The global community is more reluctant to legitimize such unilateral separatism. The Somaliland separatists historically had minimal economic/military clout or foreign alliances, so no one has gone ...


16

It has been a very long time since a nobility title meant a legal claim to the land. For example, some Arthur Wellesley guy was: Duke and Marquess of Wellington Prince of Waterloo, of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Duke of Ciudad Rodrigo (Spain) Duke of the Victory (from Portugal, but where exactly is "The Victory"?) and Marques of Torres Vedras among ...


16

Take a look at the Wikipedia article on micronations. What you do is stake a claim to some territory - which doesn't have to be actual land, it could e.g. be a platform on the sea, a ship, etc - and then declare independence. Now you get to make your own laws, issue your own currency, and so on. Jeff Bezos could in principle do this. As for who would stop ...


16

Canada, especially between 1949 and 1982, was in a quite comparable relationship to London, if we don't count practicalities such as independent access to the sea and military strength. Even today, the Queen of Canada reigns from abroad. And yet, Canada is a sovereign country as much as a country can ever be. Notes reflecting remarks by the OP and by ...


16

Yes and no. The International Olympic Committee is a private organization. They have the freedom to do whatever they want within the bounds of local laws. When they want to do an event, and there is no law which explicitly says they can not do that event, then they can. However, the government of Japan could easily forbid large-scale sport events in general. ...


15

When a national government fines an internet company and the internet company evades that fine by removing any physical presence from that country, the government has several options, ranging from least to most collateral damage: Use it as a bargain chip when negotiating with their lobbyists. Many internet companies do lots of government lobbying in order ...


13

It's a largely meaningless slogan that seeks to justify a "hard" brexit, one that cuts as many ties with the EU as possible. Leaving the EU is a huge loss of sovereignty. The UK's ability to determine its own future has been greatly diminished due to no longer having the weight of the EU behind it. The government intends to use this slogan to claim ...


12

The most practical route is probably via a (hostile) takeover of an existing state. William I, Duke of Normandy, succeeded in this approach in 1066. He assembled a mercenary army promising to pay them from the spoils of conquering England. A modern billionaire, if he so wished, might be able to install himself as ruler of some minor state by bribing the ...


12

Other answers give good examples, but an outstanding case of an individual creating his own country for his own benefit was king Leopold II of Belgium and the Congo Free State. King Leopold, not in his official role but as a private individual, successfully managed to explore the Congo basin and have its sovereignty over it recognised by other countries. ...


11

By becoming a member state of the European Union a country's governing body and it's judiciary looses some of its ability to legislate within certain domestic and international policy areas. This voluntary loss of legislative power could arguably considered not permanent; EU members states have the right to withdraw from the union and regain their full ...


11

Well, various people probably mean somewhat different things by that, but to quote the PM's meaning: as our chief negotiator David Frost said, there are some things that we simply can’t compromise over. People understand the arguments about the level playing field and about fisheries. And there is no point in leaving the EU if you remain locked in the lunar ...


10

There is no commonly accepted definition. Every government decides for themselves which other states they recognize. Often these are not objective criteria (defined territory, permanent population, functioning government etc.) but rather political considerations. A good example are North- and South-Korea which the whole world recognizes as clearly two ...


9

I believe that the best answer is that you look at the 1962 UN Convention on the High Seas. That is where the idea of a "flag country" is defined under international law. The short answer is: no, ships are not sovereign territory when on the high seas, no matter how they are flagged or registered. The ship's registration does, however, determine how things ...


9

Generally speaking, if you own the land (on a national level), you own everything underneath it. I can't find any precedent where that is untrue. For instance, Chile and Argentina have a treaty allowing mining operations to straddle their border in the Andes In 1997, the presidents of Chile and Argentina signed the Mining Integration Treaty allowing ...


8

It does not work that way. Basically, if you control the territory you can make the laws (the state is the monopoly of violence, by one definition). If you are a few people but nobody challenges your claim, you are a nation. It being "micro" or not is not really an issue. Of course, the question with your plan is the UK government is, to put it lightly, ...


8

What governments can do (supposedly) and what they do are two different issues. Technically, FIFA is an independent, private association and governments of the world don't have a say in their decission. In the practice, however, FIFA can be subjected to many kind of pressures that make sure they kowtow to the will of the states. The more powerful the state, ...


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